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Defend Black Voters Coalition leads Ann Arbor protest against corporate support for 'election deniers'

Josh Hakala
89.1 WEMU
Washtenaw County Commissioner Ricky Jefferson speaks during a Defend Black Voters Coalition rally outside City Hall on October 17, 2022.

A group of protesters demonstrated outside Ann Arbor City Hall Monday night. They called out organizations they say are guilty of voter suppression and the corporations that support them.

Defend Black Voters Coalition is a collective of social justice, labor and religious organizations. Representatives from various groups and members of Ann Arbor City Council stood outside criticizing what they call hypocrisy of corporations, like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Delta Dental. Those companies have been found to financially support organizations like Secure MI Vote, which activists say are pushing for voter restrictions based on Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Ponsella Hardaway is the executive director of social justice group MOSES Action.

“These corporations can no longer declare that Black lives matter while also funding lawmakers trying to silence our votes and our voices.”

City Council later passed a resolution calling for a company’s stated values to align with its political spending. It was approved on a 9-1 vote.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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